3 July 2012

Parking ticket - Notice to owner - PATAS

Appealing against a parking ticket can be a question of gimme three steps.

Step 1 is that you send what is an informal request to the council to say why you think the ticket should be cancelled.

If the council agree the ticket is wrong or that you have acceptable mitigating circumstances they will cancel it.

If they don't cancel then they send you the Notice to Owner which is the start of Step 2 at which point you submit your formal request for the ticket to be cancelled. This is a good time to think about using an expert such as appealnow.com whose charges are quite modest and this is the point when you should advance every single reason that you have for the ticket to be cancelled and the more the merrier provided they are serious reasons with a chance of success. If the ticket is cancelled, all well and good. If not, then the guidance from the Department of Transport (DoT) says this:

If the authority rejects the representation, it must serve a notice of rejection (NoR) stating that it will issue a Charge Certificate unless the PCN is paid or an appeal made to an adjudicator. The notice of rejection must set out the general form and manner in which an appeal can be made (to PATAS) and that the adjudicator has the power to award costs against either party. The authority should give the owner clear and full reasons for its decision on a representation, in addition to the minimum required information. (There are rarely costs awarded either for or against)

So step 3 will be your appeal to PATAS.

People generally don't have much staying power and tend to give in and either pay or bury their head in the sand and hope the whole thing goes away although the latter could become an expensive strategy. 

Mr Mustard isn't the giving in type and would always continue to step 3 except that he always parks legally and any tickets he gets are usually caused by error and so his step 1 appeals have always been accepted (and those he has done on behalf of other people). Please people start to plan for writing 3 appeals and stick with the process. You stand a good chance of getting the ticket cancelled (if you aren't bang to rights).

The DoT guidance says that the formal representations at Step 2 must be dealt with by the local authority i.e. Barnet Council. Mr Mustard has heard that they are not being and that the but he doubts that the council would be so stupid as to sidestep official guidance. To check he needs to see a copy of a letter sent out which has rejected your formal representations which you sent in after receiving the Notice to Owner. It would also be useful to see a copy of the letter before that one in which NSL rejected your informal representations because Mr Mustard wants to see if you were then told to write to Worthing (where NSL are ) which would add delay to the process or to London N11 where the council are which would not waste any of your 28 day appeal period. He would also like to see both envelopes. 

Mr Mustard also hears that people are not being told of their step 3 right of appeal to PATAS and if that is true (surely it cannot be true?) then every single parking ticket issued since 1 May should rightly & fairly be cancelled because of procedural impropriety.

So if you are a well organised person (or company) who keeps all their correspondence and is happy to share your experiences with Mr Mustard (and the world, with permission, on a no names basis) then please send an email to mrmustard@zoho.com

Only by persisting and following the rules (steps) can you win.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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